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Top Rated

Population Connection

CharityWatch report issued
January 2019

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Population Connection
2120 L Street NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20037

Other Names

Zero Population Growth

Tax Status


Stated Mission

National grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2017

Program Percentage: 82%

The percentage of Population Connection's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $12

How many dollars Population Connection spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Population Connection's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
89% $7
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Population Connection IRS Form 990 94-1703155
Population Connection & Action Fund & PAC Audited Combined Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: Population Connection
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 94-1703155
Entity: Population Connection & Action Fund & PAC
Document Type: Audited Combined Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Population Connection
meets governance benchmarks.
Population Connection
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 John Seager President/CEO $265,024
2 Pamela Wasserman Senior VP for Education $201,227
3 Brian Dixon Senior VP for Media & Government Relations $197,625
Name: John Seager
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $265,024
Name: Pamela Wasserman
Title: Senior VP for Education
Compensation: $201,227
Name: Brian Dixon
Title: Senior VP for Media & Government Relations
Compensation: $197,625

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.
CharityWatch's rating of Population Connection is for the 501(c)(3) public charity (tax ID #94-1703155).

The rating does not include the financial activities of the related 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, social welfare organization, Population Connection Action Fund, or the Population Connection Action Fund Political Action Committee.

CharityWatch will issue separate ratings for 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) organizations, even if their financial activities are included together in a combined audit, due to their differing tax treatment by the IRS. CharityWatch does not rate political action committees (PACs). For more information on this topic, please see our sections on Types of Non-Profits, Tax Status, and Treatment of Related Organizations, which can be found on the Our Process page.

CharityWatch does not rate the 501(c)(4) Population Connection Action Fund at this time due to its relative small size. Population Connection reports making a cash grant in the amount of $5,000,000 to the related Population Connection Action Fund in 2017, according to the Population Connection 2017 tax filing (IRS Form 990, Schedule I). For more information about things to consider when donating to organizations that have related public charity and social welfare entities, read "Sorting Out Non-Profit Pairs" in the Articles & Alerts section, below.
According to the Population Connection combined audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 10, Loss From Theft):

"Subsequent to year-end, management discovered that an employee had misappropriated assets in the amount of $122,971 that spanned a timeframe from fiscal years 2016 - 2018. As a result of the investigation, the Organizations filed a claim with their insurance company and have recorded an accounts receivable in the amount of $112,971 as of December 31, 2017. The remaining $10,000 is recorded as a loss from theft in the [audited] Combined Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets for the year ended December 31, 2017."
According to the Population Connection combined audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 1, Contributed services), Population Connection received in-kind contributed services in 2017 on which it placed a value of $349,400.

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]
According to the Population Connection combined audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 9, Agency Activity):

"During 2014, the President and CEO of Population Connection had officially been assigned as the court appointed administrator of an estate. It is anticipated that there are two beneficiaries who will share equally in the net proceeds. Population Connection will assist in disposing of several assets, establishing values and getting court approval for various actions, including the sale of a house.

"As of December 31, 2017, Population Connection has incurred no additional expenses on behalf of the estate. All estate expenses were paid directly from the estate bank account. During the year, there were $1,197,532 of disbursements made on behalf of the estate."
According to the Population Connection (PC) 2017 tax filing, PC reports for Compensation Information re: nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 7), "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments in the following amounts to five individuals in 2017 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Parts II & III):

(1) John Seager, President & CEO: $40,000, with reported total compensation of $265,024;
(2) Brian Dixon, Sr. VP for Media & Gov. Relations: $11,750, with reported total compensation of $197,625;
(3) Shauna Scherer, VP for Marketing & Development: $11,750, with reported total compensation of $167,784;
(4) Pamela Wasserman, Sr. VP for Education: $11,000, with reported total compensation of $201,227;
(5) Maria Orozco-Marquez, VP of Admin. & Member Services / CFO: $11,000, with reported total compensation of $162,442.